Episode #235 – Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue (Part 1)

This week’s episode is BANNED on YouTube. Part 2 (next week) for some reason is not. See you on YouTube next week!

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  • Nate and John are the best!
  • Nate and John are highly knowledgeable, but also love to incorporate knowledge from other fans. Not only have I learned more about and relived Deep Purple’s catalogue, I’ve discovered other related artists like Whitesnake and Schenker. Nate and John always keep the show light and funny. Their humor is truly contagious. If you miss late college nights listening to music and sharing liner notes with friends, this podcast will put you back in touch with this part of your musical heart.

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Lead up to the Album:

  • The lineup that came out of the dust of the 1987 album ended up being who we see in the videos.
  • Rudy Sarzo intended to only be temporarily in the band after leaving Quiet Riot but Coverdale ended up persuading him to stay.
  • Sarzo broke his foot in a bike accident at home right before they were going to play their first concert in front of 80,00 people. Sarzo did the show with a cast on his foot.
  • Coverdale wanted to keep this lineup together for as long as possible. Sarzo had expressed some trepidation in staying with Whitesnake since he and Quiet Riot had been together for so long.
  • Coverdale started sending telegrams to warn management saying “I said if he breaks the other leg then they can have him.”
  • Coverdale also said he noticed some people were being paid too much, others not enough, and he vowed never to let that happen again.
  • At this point they were still playing as a support act (to Motley Crue and others) but Whitesnake had become bigger than most of the bands they were playing with.
  • They put together a tour as headliners and The Return of the Saneks tour sold out within a few days.
  • The set that they had featured almost exclusively the new album as well as “Slide It In” and also included a cover of ZZ Top’s “Legs” entitled “Tits.”
  • The tour was based around Americans and he promised to go further back in the catalog in the future.
  • Vivian Campbell was in and out of the band, only contributing to one remixed song.
  • It was then announced that Don Airey was being promoted to full-time Whitesnake member after his contributions to the 1987 album.
  • At first  replacing Vivian Campbell was not urgent but they reached out to Jake E. Lee but he wished to stay with Badlands.
  • Eventually it became more important when Vandenburg injured a tendon and needed surgery and couldn’t continue on with the album.
  • Coverdale was able to get Steve Vail to join the band and they used a young player named Kevin Russel to do a series of guide tracks.
  • Glenn Hughes was being considered by Geffen to join Jon Sykes’ Blue Thunder but they didn’t have the time or budget to add him to the band.
  • Instead Hughes was brought in to add backing vocals to Slip of the Tongue.
  • In the old Whitesnake David was the best looking member of the band but with Kalodner they worked to surround him with other good-looking members and even adding Tawny Kitaen as the pin-up to represent the band’s videos.
  • There was pressure to release the follow up album quickly.
  • Campbell said he felt like David and Adrian were going to do all the writing and he wasn’t going to be allowed to participate.  Also David brought his wife on the road but didn’t allow Vivian to do the same. Ultimately he didn’t see a future if he wasn’t allowed to write.
  • Tommy Aldridge said that in 1990 as far as Americans were concerned there’d been only three records and minimal lineup changes.
  • The album took almost a year to record.  Tommy’s drums were done in two weeks but the guitars took a long time tdue to injuries and other changes.
  • Interestingly David and Adrian wrote all the songs in teh same key, the key of A.
  • Olsen said that David was so in love with Tawny at the time he was spending a lot of time with her in INcline Village. He also implied that Adrian Vandenberg was sent home because the parts were not good enough, not because of the reported carpal tunnel in both wrists.
  • Vivian Campbell claims they got rid of him because Vandenberg didn’t want to work with another guitar player. He said the irony was that he was injured and they had to get another play in.
  • According to Martin Popoff Keith Olsen is the only one that says Adrian did not have an injury.  Everyone else seems to back up that it was an injury.
  • When Vai joined the band he explained that most of the songs were recorded and had guide tracks.  His job was to go  in there and add his touch.
  • Darker Than Blue – Issue 36  Dec 1988 – Jan 1989
    • Back To The Recording Studio – News
    • Give Me All Your Love was taken off as the fourth and final American single from the 1987 LP in March 1988, remixed, and with Vivian Campbell adding new guitar parts. The live video which accompanied it was shot in Worcester Mass. With that out of the way, and the touring over, thoughts naturally turned towards the fairly daunting task of beginning a follow up to the incredibly successful album. The stage line-up by then bad been working so well in Coverdale’s opinion that he had decided to go into the studio with it after all, the next album being scheduled for March / April 1989. After the success of the re-recorded oldies, they are seriously considering redoing Fool For Your Loving and Ain’t Gonna Cry No More , as well as Burning Heart from Vandenburg’s own album.
    • The currently fashionable chart cert of teaming two known stars to record a duet was also mooted. A track called Too Many Tears, considered too quiet for the band, may be taped by Coverdale with Nancy Wllson from Heart (remember he nicked their rhythm section for Here I Go Again 87) or Cher. Thoughts of a live set have been put on hold for now, they’re not looked upon with any great favour by American record companies, but the reissue of most of the Whitesnake back-catalogue in America has been doing well – enabling Coverdale to perhaps dig a little further back for stage material next tour; this one being assembled from what was perceived as the only two known LPs in America.
  • Darker Than Blue – Issue 37  June 1989
    • Glenn’s arrival in the Whitesnake camp comes just as the new album is nearing completion. Despite Coverdale’s claims to the contrary, it seems as if the band will be restructured almost entirely before they tour again. Guitarist Vivian Campbell has left the band. His sole contribution to their vinyl was that remixed single which we reported last issue. Dave Lee Roth’s guitarist Steve Vai has been drafted in to do guitar work on the album, and probably to tour with them as well. With Don Airey seemingly a permanent member of the line-up (behind a curtain or otherwise), and Glenn Hughes’s arrival to do backing vocals, the album ought to be out by August if they can keep the studio finishing down to a minimum.

Core Band:

Additional Musicians:

  • Vocals – Glenn Hughes
    • Darker Than Blue – Issue 37  June 1989
      • Dokken & Whitesnake – News
      • The Glenn Hughes story gets more complicated by the day. Prior to Christmas, Hughes was quite busy. He wrote five songs for a Dokken project. Glenn has done the bass on the album and also some backing vocals, as well as helping with the production. John Norum does the guitar chores. Apart. from that Glenn has also been earning a few bob giving the Dokken man singing lessons! While working on the LP Glenn was apparently offered a job with Yes. Then In November he got a call from John Sykes’s Blue Murder. Sykes had just had his vocals rejected by Geffen, and they wanted Glenn in to redo then in Vancouver. This fell through, and in the end Sykes’ LP came out with his own vocals still on. He set up a showcase gig with Pat Thrall in January 1989 over in LA, which went down a storm according to reports. Why they just don’t get down to business and do another LP I don’t know!
      • In April, in perhaps one of the strangest twists in the Deep Purple story, David Coverdale contacted Glenn to help out on the new Whitesnake album by doing the backing vocals. Perhaps Glenn was as puzzled by it as us, in any a case rather than fly out he asked for the contract first, and made sure this was signed before he told anyone about it. According to Glenn the move was made at Geffen’s suggestion, while David wanted to try and introduce the Mk 3 vocal harmony feel which had been the focus of tracks like You Fool No One. He has stipulated in the contract that his contributions will not be mixed out of hearing. Glenn’s signing of the contract coincided nicely with a secret concert he’d lined up; read on….
  • Vocals – Tommy Funderburk
    • https://tommyfunderburk.com/
    • Prolific backup singer.
    • Had previously done backup vocals for REO Speedwagon, Juice Newton, Barry Manilow, Rick Springfield, Kenny Rogers, David Lee Roth (on the Skyscraper album), Tiffany, Eddie Money, and more.
  • Keyboards – Claude Gaudette
    • Canadian session keyboardist who worked with Air Supply, Neil Diamond, Céline Dion, Barry Manilow, Christopher Cross, Natalie Cole, Peter Cetera, Kylie Minogue, Smokey Robinson.
    • Sadly passed away in 1997.
  • Keyboards – David Rosenthal
    • Former Rainbow keyboardist. Went on to work with Bill Joel for many years.
  • Keyboards – Don Airey
    • A keyboardist that needs no introduction on this show.


  • Other [John Kalodner] – John Kalodner
  • Producer, Engineer – Keith Olsen
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Olsen
    • Legendary producer who worked with many artists including James Gang, Domenic Troiano, Buckingham Nicks, Grateful Dead, Russ Ballard, Alice Cooper, Santana.
    • Did the 35th anniversary mixes for Stormbringer with Glenn Hughes.
    • Sadly passed away in 2020.
  • Producer, Engineer – Mike Clink
  • Engineer [Assistant] – Allen Abrahamson
    • Worked at the Record Plant. Many of the same credits as Mike Clink.
  • Engineer [Assistant] – Gordon Fordyce
    • Did a lot of work with early 80s Thin Lizz, worked on Motley Crue’s “Too Fast For Love,” Lindsey Buckingham, Ozzy Osbourne’s “No Rest For The Wicked.”
  • Engineer [Assistant] – Noel Golden
    • Known for his work with Mike Clink. Worked in Canada in the 80s and worked with Tirumph, Kick Axe.
  • Engineer [Assistant] – Shay Baby
    • Prior to this worked with Kingdom Come, Went on to work with Scorpions, Eddie Money, Bruce Dickinson.
  • Mixed By – Keith Olsen, Mike Clink

Album Art & Booklet Review

  • Cover – Hugh Syme
    • http://www.hughsyme.com/
    • Artist who designed cover of the 1987 album.
    • Leading up to this album worked on many Rush album covers as well as Quiet Riot, McCauley Schenker Group, Sammy Hagar.

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Album Tracks:

All songs by Coverdale, Vandenberg except where noted.

  1. Slip of the Tongue
    • Aldridge said that Mike Clink thought he overplayed a lot and as a result most of the drumming on this album is pretty straight forward.
  2. Cheap an’ Nasty
    • Olsen called this song “kick-butt”
    • Vandenberg said this was a riff he’d had since his Vandenberg days.
    • Featuring the “Delberts from Hell Chorus” – Hughes and Funderburk.
  3. Fool for Your Loving ‘89 (Coverdale, Marsden, Moody)
    • This was an obvious attempt to recreate what they’d done with “Here I Go Again.”
    • Kalodner said he thought it was okay but not a hit.
  4. Now You’re Gone
    • This single made it to 96 on the US charts.  In the UK it hit #31.
    • They filmed a video where they performed it at The Spectrum in Philadelphia.
  5. Kittens Got Claws
    • Reference to an XJS which was the Jaguar from the Here I Go Again video.
    • Glenn Hughes sings backing vocals on this one along with Tommy FUnderburk and Richard Page.
    • Glenn said he was not up to standards, still battling his addictions, and was sent back in the mix.
    • Olsen said that David still sang great but it was difficult for him.  “You Talk about natural singers, Glenn Hughes of course, but also Ronnie James Dio, amazing singer. That’s all about diaphragm, diaphragm support. When you have that thing, that’s how Lou Gramm sings too. But David, you know he was always at the very, very top of his range.  And so . . . is he still smoking, do you know? But it was always at the top of his range, and if you aren’t physically 100%, it’s really hard to sing at the top of your range like that. . . . Glenn is this master of vocal parts. He is a master and so Glenn and I are working on these parts, and we put this really, really cool background part on, oh, God, (sings it) but anyway Steve Vai comes in and the first thing out of his mouth is, ‘Wow, that’s really unique and cool’ And he looks at me a Glenn and says, ‘You know, Keith, that’s not in the mode’.”  Olsen said he laughed because he didn’t care, it sound cool.

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